The Goodby, Silverstein Corvette commercial…(Auto Rants (4))

My son wrote:

Hey Pops –

I’m totally loving this Corvette commercial… and I don’t like Chevy (sorry, Chevrolet) cars, nor have I ever been too fond of the Corvette. (If I’m going to buy an expensive sportscar, Chevy isn’t the first car company that comes to mind).

To which I responded:

Well, it’s done by Goodby, Silverstein (think Got Milk?), so it’s well-crafted and hits on a good core idea. Unfortunately for them, their attempt at a Hal Riney voiceover doesn’t have the resonance of the real thing (the Reagan re-election campaign), so it’s not going to wear as well.

Also, they are counting on the fact that no one remembers that the original Corvette wasn’t conceived as “a rocket,” but rather a personal sports car (the Thunderbird was Ford’s entry). So the voiceover confounds the origins of the space program with the visuals of building today’s Corvette engine…eventually, I think, resulting in a sort of hollow, ho-hum feeling. But at low levels of repetition it will probably do well and they really aren’t interested in selling more Corvettes. It’s part of a larger GM – Chevrolet image campaign in preparation for their public stock offering tentatively planned for this fall.

But it’s fine for you to like it. Since you and I own GM, we should be pleased.


And then he went:

Now… obviously I understand that the Corvette was not a “rocket” in any way, shape or form as originally conceived (nor is it now), but those cars brought people closer to feeling the power of an engine – thus “rocket” – than ever before (if you didn’t have the money or means to ever own or see a classic European sports car), no?

At least it seems to me they’re successfully rewriting history 😛


p.s. We own GM what?!?

So I said:

When GM accepted the bail-out and went through bankruptcy, the US govt (hence, you and I) got controlling ownership of the company. Now the 55-year-old Charlie Wilson quote (“What’s good for General Motors is good for the country,” he said) is really true.

If you go back and examine the word “rocket” with respect to GM, you’ll find that as part of the post-World War II design of the GM family of brands (Harley Earl’s brainchild), it was Oldsmobile that was promoted as “the Rocket,” with models like the Rocket 88 and the Rocket 98. The Oldsmobile overhead-cam V8 engine was nicknamed the “Rocket.”

The original Corvette first shown in 1953 was powered by a “souped-up” six-cylinder engine, but it wasn’t the engine that got the hype, it was the fact that it was the first US production automobile with a fiberglass body. So…no, the Corvette didn’t start out to be “a rocket.”


(See my earlier auto rants)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: